The Illinois State University School of Theatre and Dance will present Dale Wasserman’s two-act adaptation of Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, opening Friday, October 23, in the University’s Center for the Performing Arts Theatre.

poster image for One who Flew Over the Cockoos NestPerformances will be at 7:30 p.m. October 23, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30, and 31, with a matinee performance at 2 p.m. October 25. Tickets are $17 for adults and $12 for students and seniors, and can be purchased at the College of Fine Arts Box Office, located in the Center for the Performing Arts, by phone at (309) 438-2535, or online at

Half-price tickets for university and high school students will be offered for the Friday, October 30 performance. Student tickets for that performance will be $6, and must be purchased in person at the College of Fine Arts Box Office. A valid student ID must be presented.

The story follows Chief Bromden, a towering Native American who is shut away in a mental institution and assumed to be deaf and mute. The men in the ward are closely monitored by the controlling and cold Nurse Ratched, a woman who appears to care more about order and regulation than the well-being of the men. Things change when the outgoing and rebellious Randle P. McMurphy is committed to the institution by the state.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest explores the misconceptions about mental illness and treatment, and looks at how the desire for social control negatively impacts the lives of the men on the ward and begs the question: Who’s really (in)sane?

Professor Lori Adams, head of the acting program at Illinois State, is excited for audiences to see the show and be “inspired by the indomitable free spirit of our anti-hero” and the “struggles of the least powerful among us trying to prevail against forces that would keep them down.”